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■I ^ HIGH ALBANIA AND ITS 



CUSTOMS IN 1908. 



M. EDITH DURHAM. 



[WITH PLATE XXXI.] 



alifornia 

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PU^:^ISHED BY THE 
50, GREAT RUSSELL STREET, LONDON, W.C. 




Social Sciences & Humanities Library 

University of California, San Diego 
Please Note: This item is subject to recall. 

Date Due 




HIGH ALBANIA AND ITS CUSTOMS IN 1908. 
By M. Edith Durham, 

[With Plate XXXI.] 

High Albania is the large tract of mountain land which forms the north-west 
corner of Turkey in Europe. It is the only spot in Europe in which the tribal 
system has been preserved intact up to the present day and along with it a mass 
of very ancient customs. Changes are now sweeping rapidly over the Balkan 
peninsula, and it is with the hope of inducing someone better qualified than myself 
to go and investigate on the spot, before it is too late, that I will try and give 
an idea of the very primitive conditions which still prevail. Writing has, it 
appears, always been an art unknown to the tribesman, consequently he possesses 
an extraordinary memory, and has handed down quantities of oral traditions, most 
of which remain to be collected. 

Life is very rough, but the dangers of travel in North Albania have been 
ridiculously exaggerated. In most places I was received with enthusiasm. Many 
districts did not remember having been visited by an Englishman, but had received 
a few Austrians or Germans ; and a few had not admitted any foreigner at 
all for years. In such they only knew of the King of England vaguely, as one of 
the Seven Kings who are believed to squat in a circle and arrange the affairs of 
Europe. One of the seven is the King of France, and one, I believe, the King of 
Poland. 

The Albanian tribesman does not call himself Albanian, but Shcypctaar, and 
his land Shci/jmii. He says lie is the son of an eagle {ShcypS), and his laud is the 
land of eagles. His language grammatically belongs to the so-called Aryan group, 
and he boasts and believes that he is the oldest thing in the Balkan peninsula — 
it was his before the coming of the Slav or Turk, and he hates each with a bitter 
Balkan hatred. There is, I believe, no valid reason for doubting that he is the 
more or less direct descendent of the ancient Illyrian tribes that dwelt in the land 
when we first have record of it. lioman, Slav, and Turk have in turn held the 
Balkan peninsula. But the mountain tribesman has never been more than 
nominall}^ conquered — and is still unsubdued. Empires pass over him and run off 
like water from a duck's back. 

"When I arrived in Scutari, Albania, the capital, travelling in the mountains 
was strictly forbidden by the Turkish Government, as the tribes were in almost 

a 



454 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs iti 1908. 

open revolt. But as I knew the people and had good introductions, I took French 
leave, sneaked out of the town in the grey before dawn, dodged the gendarmerie 
outposts, and was soon safely away in very light marching order. 

I visited in all some twenty-four tribes, and in many was lucky enough to 
get a detailed account of the tribe's origin. 

These tribes are divided into several marked groups. The first group I 
visited was Maltsia e madhc, the Great Mountainous Land. This consists of five 
large tribes and three small ones. Four of the five large ones each tells that its 
ancestor came from the north with his family, thirteen or fourteen generations ago, 
flying from the advancing Turks. In some cases they found uninhabited land and 
settled on it. In others, they fought with the men already on the land, and finally 
settled among them. These former inhabitants they call Anas, which is inter- 
preted in the latest Albanian Dictionary as " aborigines." They tell that the Anas 
were very strong and active, could leap over six horses and ate acorns and 
horseflesh. 

They intermarried with the Anas. A few houses in the Hoti tribe still trace 
direct descent from the Anas, in the male line. All four of these tribes (Skreli 
Hoti, Gruda, Kilmeni) tell tliat their ancestors came from Bosnia or the 
Herzegovina, precise district unknown. 

An approximate date for the coming of these immigrants is the founding of 
the church of Gruda, three hundred and eighty years ago, so they say. Some of 
the tribes say they came rather before, and some rather after, this event. This 
gives the date 1528. History shows that, roughly speaking, the tradition is 
probably correct, for the Turks killed the last King of Bosnia in 1463, spread 
gradually over the land, and finally incorporated all Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 
Turkish Empire about 1590. The shifting of the peoples falls well within this 
period (1463-1590). 

The family, a communal of perhaps sixty or seventy members — such exist 
still to-day — would march slowly, rarely more than fifteen miles a day, and 
would be long on the way, the women carrying the burdens and driving the 
flocks. There would be an armed bodyguard of twenty or thirty fighting men, for 
at fifteen a tribesman is a fighting man, and often carries arms, and is no mean foe 
at twelve. 

Many of the neighbouring tribes of Montenegro tell precisely the same tale — 
namely, that their ancestors fled from the Turks thirteen or fourteen generations 
ago. Moreover, certain tribes of Maltsia e madhe and Montenegro actually 
acknowledge blood-relationship, and trace descent from a common forefather. I 
am very strongly inclined to believe that the present language and nationality of 
such tribes — that is, whether to-day they are Serbophone and Montenegrin, or 
Albanophone and Albanian — has been determined mainly by whether they came 
under the influence of the Orthodox Servian Church or of the Eoman Catholic 
Church. There is some evidence to show that the people who came down from 
the north were neither Orthodox nor Catholic, but belonged to the heretical 



M. Edith Dukham. — High Albania and its Customs iii 1908. 



455 



Bogomil sect, v/hich was wide spread in the Balkan peninsula in the Middle Ages. 
I was extremely interested to find that the Maltsia e madhe tribes, more especially 
the two, Skreli and Hoti, which say they come from Bosnia, the stronghold of 
Bogomilism, are freely tattooed on the hand, arm and sometimes breast, with 
designs that I at once recognised as common in certain parts of Bosnia, notably 
around Jaice, the old capital, where the last king was slain, and in these designs 
the sun and the crescent moon are almost always factors. 




SUN AND MOON. N. ALBANIA. 



Bogomilism was a form of Manicheeism, and in Manicheeism the sun and 
moon play a most important part. The Christian married women of Maltsia e 
madhe wear a crescent of silver filagree or of gold braid on their caps. They vow 
and declare that this has nothing to do with the Turk : " It is our custom. We 
have always done it." 

You cannot live long with the up-country tribesman without finding that the 
religion he professes is the merest surface veneer. He is guided for the most part 
by mysterious superstitions and beliefs hidden in the recesses of his soul, and he 
cares no jot for priest or hodja when their teaching runs counter to his own 



456 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

Albanian ideas as to the fitness of things. He is a thorn in the side of all his 
spiritual pastors. He has often been execrated for the rapidity with which he will 
change his religion. Whole districts have been known to turn Moslem suddenly, 
in order to score off a priest who has offended them. Nor do they become good 
Moslems. I have lived with Moslem tribesmen all night and all day, but I 
have never seen one pray or perform the ceremonial ablutions ; and his 
women are all unveiled. So long as he is allowed to go on being Albanian in his 
own way the tribesman will assume any faith that is convenient. Islam lets him 
have his own way, consequently Islam is spreading. In some transition districts 
{e.g., Luria) people will go both to mosque and to church. If they don't get what 
they want from one they try the other. 

To get at the real beliefs of either Moslem or Christian is most difhcult, but 
I have it, on what I believe is very reliable authority, that many of the so-called 
Christians will admit to a belief in two conflicting powers of light and darkness, and 
also that the sun and moon, with which they tattoo, have something to do with this. 

Twice during lieavy thunderstorms I was told by my men that Kulshedra and 
Drangue {Drangoni) were fighting. Kulshedra is a female monster that strives to 
destroy humanity with torrents and tempests, and Drangoni is a male being who 
beats her back. Men and male animals can become Drangonis, and women, 
serpents, and other noxious creatures Kulshedras. The tribesman has an intense 
belief in the innate depravity of all things feminine. 

Fasting was much practised by the Bogomils, and the keeping of fasts most 
rigidly is the only law of the Catholic Church wliich the people strictly observe. 
These facts all point to lingering belief in a form of Manicheeism. 

The second tribal group I visited was the Pulati group, called also Maltsia e 
vogel, the small mountainous land. Here also a tale of immigration is told by the 
more important tribes, but of immigration, not from the north, but from the east, 
the district known in earlier days as Eashia. These people tell that they arrived 
before the Maltsia e madhe people did. As the Turks penetrated Eashia con- 
siderably before they subdued Bosnia, this tale also is probably true. They too 
tell that they found previous inhabitants who were a small dark people. In tlie 
tribe of Shala there are still eight houses that trace descent from these early 
inhabitants. The other families migrated in a body " a long time ago " to the 
neighbourhood of Dechani (probably at the end of the seventeenth century, when 
the Serbs left it in numbers and fled to Hungary). I remember, when at Dechani 
in 1903, being greatly struck with the small very dark Albanians there, for I liad 
previously known only the fair type. There was fighting going on with the 
Turkish troops not far off, and the country was reckoned in a dangerous state, and 
a lot of these little dark men kindly came and formed an armed escort for me 
when I went for a walk. Shoshi, the neighbour tribe to Shala, and consanguineous 
with it, tells the same tale, but here the small dark people have been wholly 
absorbed. They have, however, left their mark throughout Pulati, where the 
number of small dark people largely exceeds that in Maltsia e madhe. 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 457 

The typical fair man, common in Maltsia e madhe and found in all the other 
districts, is a rather tall man with a yellow moustache, a fine cut aquiline nose and 
a long strong jaw. His eyes are grey or even quite blue. The bridge of his nose 
is narrow and his eyebrows slope downwards, often markedly so. His skin, where 
not sunburnt, is white. He is often a really fine animal, and very well aware of 
the fact. 

The small dark man is insignificant in appearance, and usually an ugly little 
fellow. His eyes are brown, his hair grows low on his forehead. Sometimes a 
hairy line extends along the temple to the outer corner of the eyebrow, giving him 
an oddly monkey-like look. His skin is olive. 

P etween these two types there are, of course, any amount of links. The type 
■which 'the Albanian himself considers Albanian is the fair aquiline type. From the 
high Albanian mountains right down to the Greek frontier ihe Albanian tells you 
■" We are a fair people." And as he has never been worried by theories of dark and 
fair races, perhaps he knows. 

The question, as to what these dark and fair races are, is a very difiicuit one 
;and I do not think my theories on the subject are of any value ; so I will only give 
the statements of the people themselves and say that, roughly speaking, I found 
"the high Albanian tribes fall into three groups : — I. Maltsia e madhe, which tells of 
a large immigration from the north, and intermarriage with previous inhabitants ; 

II. Pulati, with a tale of immigration from the east and similar intermarriage ; and 

III. A group of tribes which tells of no immigration, and boasts that it has always 
ibeen on the spot. This includes the Puka group, or part of it. The Berisha and 
Merturi men, who belong to this, vow that they have been there for ever. They 
also say that the Albanian is a fair man. It is noteworthy that in the districts 
where such a tale is told the place-names are all Albanian, save a few that appear 
to be Latin. In Maltsia e madhe, on the other hand, there are many Slavonic 
place-names. 

An accident quite prevented my going to Merturi, but I visited the Berisha 
men, a most lively lot — the only ones that very nearly greeted me with bullets. 
But that was because I came with men who happened to be " in blood " with them. 
I vainly tried to kodak them as they dashed from cover to cover, howling like hell- 
liounds, and aiming at my men with their rifles. It was " touch and go," but they 
were very sorry afterwards, and we became great friends. They brought me 
offerings of honey and rakia and begged me to stay at least a year, and I spent a 
week with them. These up-country tribesmen, who have rarely seen a foreigner 
(Berisha remembered one British consul and two Austrians), are very childlike, and 
change from one mood to another all in a minute. Berisha, so far as I saw, was 
mixed dark and fair, with a large proportion of dark. 

Berisha and Merturi are important tribes, for they have overflowed and sent 
branches in many directions. The Merturi founded the town of Djakova about 
400 years ago, and it is noteworthy that all the Djakova men that I met who 
claimed descent from Merturi were fair. 

I 



458 M. Edith Dukham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

Customs differ somewhat in these various groups. The Maltsia e madhe group 
is by far the most tattooed. It is also the fairest group. The darker Pulati people 
are very much less tattooed. We may perhaps deduce from this that the fair 
immigrant tattooed and the dark native did not. All through the tribes, whether 
dark or fair, I found the sun and moon symbols in one form or another. 
I will now pass on to some tribal customs, 

A Jis or tribe in Albania consists of one or more hariaks, that is, groups of men 
that fight under one standard. Only one of these standards now bears a special 
tribe mark so far as I have learnt — that of the Mirdites of Oroshi, which has a 
rayed sun. 

In some tribes all the bariaks trace descent from a common male ancestor, and 
the divisions have only been made for convenience when the tribe grew large. In 
other cases certain bariaks are of other blood, and have been adopted into the tribe 
for various reasons. 

The tribes are strictly exogamous. That is, they invariably take wives from 
outside the tribe, excepting only when a bariak within it is of different blood. 
Male blood only counts. (In a few cases it has been decided by a tribe that certain 
bariaks, though of common origin, are now sufficiently removed to be intermarriage- 
able. But these are exceptions.) The rule is so strict that even tribes who trace 
origin from several brothers will not intermarry. Thus Shalah, Shoshi, and Mirdita 
are not intermarriageable. All descendants of a common male ancestor rank as 
brothers and sisters, and their union is looked on as incestuous and in the highest 
degree horrible. The offspring, I was repeatedly told, would be blind, deaf, dumb, 
deformed — all kinds of misfortunes would befall. There would be a curse on such 
a union, " for truly they are brothers and sisters, and it is forbidden to marry one's 
own blood." An exceptionally intelligent old Hoti man, a great authority on 
tribe law, when I asked how many generations must pass before Hoti could marry 
within the tribe, replied that " he hoped it would never be, for that even after a 
thousand years the blood will still be that of Geg Laz (the tribe's forefather), and 
they would still be brothers and sisters, and to marry your sister is a great sin." 
So deeply rooted is the feeling that in all my eight months of wandering I heard of 
only one instance in which the law was broken. A girl eloped with a distant 
cousin on her father's side. He was far enough removed for the Koman Church to 
marry them. But it was incest in the eyes of the outraged family. The luckless 
couple fled to another tribe for shelter, but were hunted down. The bridegroom 
was shot within the year, as was also his brother, who had aided the elopement 
and the bride's life was only saved by the intervention of the Franciscans. Tribe 
law is stern and merciless. 

Female blood does not count at all among the Moslem tribes, nor did it till 
quite recently among the Christians. Now the priests strive and partially succeed 
in enforcing the Canon Law that prohibits the marriage of cousins to the sixth 
degree on both sides. Pope Clement VII, whose mother was an Albanian, sent the 
Archbishop of Antivari as Visitator Apostolicus to the Albanian mountains in 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 459 

1702. His report is a bitter laraent. All the tribes, he says, are given over to 
pagan practices. "Among the execrable customs of the mountain people, the 
wretched parents are in the habit of buying young girls for a price for their sons 
who are of tender age, and of keeping them in their houses till of age to cohabit, 
and of omitting to contract matrimony unless a male chil(] be born, even after 
fifteen years of sinful cohabitation." This shows that the Church then had no 
control over the marriages, and the custom of not marrying legally till a male 
is born is not yet extinct. 

As it has been the almost universal practice to take a wife from the tribe next 
door and to marry the resultant daughters back into it (unless of course the tribe 
be one that is consanguineous), it follows that certain tribes must be very 
closely inbred on the female side. So far as I could learn among the Moslems 
two tribes will go on exchanging daughters backwards and forwards for 
generations (I ascribe to this practice the very marked type of the Moslem 
tribes); and it has only recently been checked among the Christians. But the 
people declare that such tribes are in no way related — have not one drop of the 
same blood. I said a child had some of its mother's blood, but they said, " Xo, 
only the father's." 

The people all know most exact lists of their relatives on the male side. The 
fact that I could not enumerate my paternal cousins beyond second cousins was 
reckoned as a proof of the barbarous state of English society. " Just like dogs or 
cattle." In fact, many of our habits, about which they perpetually questioned me, 
filled them with contempt or disgust, and they explained the superiority of 
their own. 

Whatever may have been the origin of marrying outside the tribe it does not 
now at all depend on the fact, often noticed, that close living together tends to 
bring about prohibitory marriage laws, for tribe land is extensive, tracks very bad, 
and houses many hours distant apart. 

It seemed incredible to me that tribe law should be so strong that, say, twelfth 
cousins should never desire to marry one another. In practice, however, they are 
rarely given the chance. All marriages are arranged by the elders, usually before 
the parties have reached maturity, and in a very large number of cases they are 
married before they have had time to make a choice. Marriage is entirely by 
purchase, except for the occasional forcible capture of a girl. Just before I went to 
Thethi, a hariak of the Christian tribe of Shala, they had had the effrontery to seize 
a Christian girl of Scutari when gathering sticks just outside the town and carry her 
off. Such however were her terror and misery that the local Franciscan induced 
them to release her unharmed. A girl was stolen too while I was in Skreli and 
supposed to have been sold to the Moslems of Krasnichi. 

Most of the children are betrothed in infancy or in early childhood. Some 
even before birth. A man, so soon as a son is born to him, seeks a suitable family 
with which to be allied, and should there be no daughter available, bespeaks the 
next one born. He often pays down part of the price as soon as she is born, and 

h 2 



460 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

the balance later when she is handed over. The price in the richer tribes is from 
sixteen to twenty napoleons ; in tlie poorer ones from ten to sixteen. It may be 
paid in money or its equivalent. A man too poor for anything better can swop an 
old rifle for an elderly childless widow. 

Girls are married as young as thirteen and boys at fifteen, or even fourteen. 
But the age is rising. I found the more intelligent heads of houses in Maltsia e 
madhe objected to giving a girl under sixteen or allowing a youth under eighteen 
to have a wife, unless an extra woman was needed for the housework, in which 
case they said they would give a wife to a boy of sixteen. In such a case as this it 
is not unusual to give a boy a wife very much older than himself, possibly a widow, 
a strong full grown widow being needed. I met one case in which a boy of fifteen 
was married to a woman of twenty-five. Husband and wife had rarely or never 
seen one another previous to marriage. I never heard of a case in which a youth 
refused the bride provided for him. When I remarked on this, people said : " Why 
should he ? A woman is a woman ; God has made them all alike." Of the girls 
they said cheerfully, " Oh ! they get used to it after a week or two." Such a thing 
as romantic affection appears to exist but rarely. 

A girl can escape the husband to whom she has been sold in one way only 
Should she resolutely refuse to be married to him she may, by tribe law, swear 
perpetual virginity before twelve witnesses, and she is then free and has certain 
privileges. In Maltsia e madhe she can inherit her father's land should he leave 
no son. From her it passes to the nearest heir male. She may dress as a man and 
carry arms, and often does so ; she may also take blood vengeance as a man does : 
but this is seldom done, I believe. 

Among the other tribes she cannot inherit land, which passes straight to the 
next heir male. He however must pay her yearly out of the estate 300 okas 
(about 650 lbs.) of maize, 18 ohas of rakia, and 30 okas of wine. Should he fail to 
do so she can enforce payment by an appeal to the Council of Elders. Among 
these tribes I saw no virgins who wore male attire, and was told it was not customary. 
In Maltsia e madhe I met several. This practice of swearing virginity to avoid 
marriage with a man disliked prevails, I am told, among the Moslem as well as the 
Christian tribes. But I met no examples. I heard of one who had served in the 
Turkish army. 

In all parts a sworn virgin is allowed to eat with the men and is treated as an 
equal, exchanges tobacco., and is generally " Hail ! fellow, well met," in striking 
contrast to the position of a married woman. 

No tribesman eats with his wife; and the odd custom still prevails of a 
married couple never addressing each other by name. To eat with a woman seems 
to be thought very degrading. The men eat first and the women eat up the bits 
left over afterwards at the other end of the room or, if Moslems, in their own 
quarters. 

I was always treated with great honour and classed with the buck-herd. No 
woman was allowed to eat with me in a tribesman's house. I ate with the men, 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 461 

but as they had to draw the line somewhere, they often helped my horse-boy first. 
Sometimes they would not even let a woman speak to me. They are tremendous 
talkers, and found a foreign female far too amusing to be wasted on their women. 
They also seemed to have an idea that as I am unmarried I belonged to the sworn - 
virgin class and was fit to be associated with. Moreover both Albanians and 
Montenegrins have a proverb which says " Long hair, short wits — a woman's 
head ! " and being a simple-minded folk they jump to the conclusion that the 
converse holds good, and credit me with extraordinary intellectual power. This 
landed me often in very difficult positions, as the political situation was strained 
almost to breaking point, and I was called in to advise. 

Among the Moslems I had to live night and day in the men's quarters, and 
even in the great chieftain's house of the Christian Mirdites no woman was allowed 
to come near me. I did not even see one, though I heard them scuttling behind 
the door to get a squint at me, but the men chivied them. 

An Albanian tribesman, whether Christian or Moslem, has but one wife at a 
time, unless he choose to take as well his brother's widow. This by tribe law he 
may do one month after her husband's death. As all men of a tribe rank as 
brothers, it follows that a man may take his cousin's or uncle's widow, or both, 
should there be no nearer male relative than himself surviving. I heard of a case 
at Thethi in which a man had taken his uncle's and his cousin's widows, and 
wished to add a third and legal wife to his household — which caused conflict with 
the priest. This custom prevails everywhere except in Maltsia e madhe, where if it 
ever did exist (which I failed to learn) it has now been extinct long enough to be 
considered incestuous, and I had dinner with some men who had recently shot 
their brother-in-law for indulging in it. 

In Nikaj, an outlying Christian tribe rarely visited by foreigners, this custom 
is rampant, in spite of the frequent excommunication of guilty parties by the 
Franciscan mission-priest. Here and in several other places, as hell-fire was not 
enough to terrify them, I was asked to threaten them with the wrath of King 
Edward VII. I tried hard to learn the people's reason for this practice. When 
there is no child, and the husband has been shot very soon after marriage, there is 
no doubt that the idea is to beget a child that is to rank as his. Children so 
produced are still reckoned by many people as the actual offspring of the dead 
man, in spite of the Eranciscans, who study medical works, and gravely assure 
their flocks that the thing is impossible. 

Where children already exist, the arrangement is largely one of convenience. 
The woman must remain in the house to bring up the children. If there be an 
unmarried brother in the house he can thus obtain a wife without paying for her — 
a great consideration in a poor family ; also as one young man explained very 
earnestly the woman is to be considered. He was excommunicated, and so was all 
his communal household (eighteen persons), because of his relations with his 
cousin's widow. He said, " She has three children, so she must stay with us to 
bring them up, and so of course she cannot marry again." (It would be contrary 



462 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908, 

to all tribe law to briog a strange man into the house.) " But she is only twentj' 
four, and to force her to live a single life would be very wrong. That is why 
I have taken her. I have a wife already, so I do not need her. I am sorry I am 
excommunicated, but I am an honourable man and I must act rightly to my 
cousin's widow." 

A childless widow in Maltsia e madhe reverts to her own family, which can 
sell her again, and generally does so at once. In other tribes the husband's family 
has the right of keeping her. If they decide to sell they divide the price obtained 
with her own family. 

A widow long married and childless is of slight value, as probably incapable 
of child-bearing. A young healthy widow, married but a few months, is on the 
other hand snapped up at once, and often fetches a higher price than a maiden. 

There is a dearth of women in High Albania. The people declare that it is 
because God knows that many men will be shot, and so provides an extra supply. 
I beHeve myself that one of the reasons is, that owing to the very young age at 
which girls are married, there is a cruelly high death-rate in child bearing. But in 
some of the tribes where church registers of baptisms and deaths have now been 
carefully kept for some years it really appears that a considerable excess of males 
is born and reaches maturity. Then the male death rate from gunshot wounds is 
high and thins them off a bit. 

Life among the outlying Christian tribes is so primitive that I doubt if I can 
make it understood. The communal family lives in a hula, a great stone tower two 
or three storeys high. It has no windows, only loopholes for rifles. It is often 
perched on a rock for better defence. The ground floor is a pitch-dark stable. 
The entrance to the dwelling is by a flight of stone steps to the first floor. An 
awful stencil grips your throat. In pitch darkness you climb a wooden ladder to 
the living room up under the stone roof on which the sun blazes, making it as hot 
as a furnace. Thirty or forty human beings of all ages and both sexes are here 
crowded together. Here they are born and die, and here they bring their new 
bought brides without any kind of privacy whatsoever. The house is ruled by 
the Xoti i shpis, the house-lord, and all the household obey him like dogs. If you 
ask why, they will tell you it is because he is the head — the right to rule is in his 
branch of the family — God made him head — if he is head of course you must 
obey. In some cases he still has power of life and death over his subjects. 

The house is often filthy beyond all words. Though the painted chests ranged 
round the walls may be full of fine embroidered clothes for festivals, and silver- 
mounted pistols hang on the walls, the people are clad in dirty rags on which the 
lice crawl calmly. The little children are often naked. The axe-hewn planks of 
the floor (made by cutting down a tree and then chopping all of it away till a 
plank of the right size is obtained) are caked with dirt and saliva. Two sheep or 
goats are tethered in a corner, fetlock deep in dung. They bring luck to the house 
and promote its fertility. You sit on this floor or on a log. If there be a chair it 
is the throne of the house-lord and, especially in Shala and Shoshi, is possibly 



M, Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 463 

adorned with a carved sun at the back, and a crescent moon on either arm. 
Through the floor rises the hot reek of ammonia from the stables, and you are 
scarcely seated before a black cloud of buzzing flies settles on you. The house-lord 
entertains you with elaborate ceremony. He makes the coffee himself. It is an 
insult to offer a guest coffee made by a woman. And above all things the house- 
lord is a gentleman according to his lights. He offers you " bread and salt and 
my heart " {huh c krype e zemer t'emen), which takes the form of rank sheep-cheese 
and raJcia distilled from his own grapes. There are endless healths to be drunk, 
between each of which a bit of cheese is eaten. The ralda keeps down the cheese, 
and the cheese tames the rahia. If you are not prepared to undergo this ordeal 
do not enter a hida, for you will give dire offence. Hospitality is the law of the 
mountains, and the house-lord freely gives you of his best. 

Amulets are freely worn to keep off the evil eye {Syij i kec). Albania swarms 
with devils and spirits {On'), magicians and witches {Shtriga). "Women in Albania 
are all born wicked. In some districts probably quite half the women have 
dealings with the devil. But it is very hard to detect them, Shtrigas can work 
many wonders, bewitch a man so that he witheis and dies, or suffers aches and 
pains. A Shtriga can make herself quite small like a bee, and get into a house 
through the keyhole or under the door at night and suck a person's blood so that 
he fades and dies in time. The best safeguard is hard to get. A Shtriga always 
vomits the blood she has sucked. You must secretly track a woman you suspect 
to be a Shtriga when she goes out to vomit the blood. You must scrape some of 
it up on a silver coin and wear it, and then no Shtriga can harm you. 

Nothing is too marvellous for a tribesman to believe. Here is a good example, 
which the teller, a man from Djakova, believes most firmly. A young married 
woman who was pregnant craved for wine, but the family was too poor to buy 
any. Her mother-in-law, who was a Shtriga, stripped the young wife quite naked 
and anointed her all over with a salve which she made, at the same time saying 
certain magic words. The young wife at once shrank to the size of a bee. " Go, 
my daughter " said the Shtriga, " to the cellar of old so-and-so, crawl in at the 
keyhole and drink all you want. But take care not to say the name of God." 
Off went tlie young wife to the cellar, entered and drank her fill. She then felt 
so much better that she cried " Thank God ! " At once she became her natural 
size. " Oh what a dreadful position for a virtuous married woman," cried my 
informant with deep feeling, " to be in a strange cellar with nothing on at all ! " 
There she had to stay till the owner of the cellar opened it next day. He was 
much surprised to find her, but as he was a very kind man, he lent her a coat to 
go home in and never doubted her explanation. And the Djakovan who told the 
tale knew the woman, knew the owner of the cellar, and had seen the keyhole. 
What more proof can you require ? MoreoN^er, as he remarked, how else can you 
explain the occurrence ? 

I saw a Moslem man who knew how to summon devils by hopping on one leg 
and waving the other behind him. But I was with Christian tribesmen, and such 



464 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

was their terror that he would cast a spell upon me that they would not allow 
him to come within a hundred yards of me, much less let me see him perform. 

When a child is born you should break an egg over its face to keep off the 
evil eye ; and when a house is built you must kill a cock or a lamb and sprinkle 
the blood on the foundations. These two customs are still practised at Scutari, and 
the old fortress on the hill is one of the places, in the foundations of which a woman 
is said to have been built in the Middle Ages as an offering to the devils that 
destroyed it as fast as it was built. 

At night in Albania the tracks are often infested with devils who take the 
form of flashes of lire, and no matter how well a man may know the way he cannot 
go on till the first cock crows and the devils disappear. A man I know who has 
been bothered in this way says it is no use to do anything but cross yourself and 
wait patiently for cockcrow. 

Save for an iron pot or tv,^o brought from Scutari, and the coffee cups, every- 
thing used in the kula is home made. The bowls, spoons, and troughs are hacked 
rudely from lumps of wood. The clothes are home spun and home woven. The 
woollen stuff {shiak) is measured by the Kimt — the length of the forearm ; the 
Pcrchik — that is the stretch of the thumb and index finger ; the Shplak — the 
breadth of four fingers ; and the Plain — the stretch of the thumb and little finger. 
Land is measured by the Ar, as much, that is, as two oxen can plough in a whole 
day. Ar appears to be connected with the Latin arare. The Albanian for a 
plough is parmen, and to plough is mc livrue. 

Distance is measured by the hour only, and corn by the horse [kal), 
i.e., horseload. Riches are flocks and corn and weapons. Xo tribesman has much 
in corn. Maize and milk are staple diet. Meat on feast days when people eat 
like boa constrictors. 

The tribes are all self-governing. The amount of independence they enjoy, 
and whether or not they pay fines or tribute to the Turkish Government, depends 
upon their fighting power and the more or less inaccessibility of the tribe land. 

Tribe government is by a council {Medjliss) of elders. This varies in number 
according to the importance of the business in hand. In Maltsia e madhe a full 
council to deal with matters concerning the whole tribe consists of the Bariaktar 
(hereditary standard bearer), two Voyvodas, twelve elders specially chosen for their 
knowledge of tribe law, and seventy-two heads of houses. The term Voyvoda is 
a Slavonic one, and does not occur in the other districts. Among the other tribes 
a full council consists of the Bariaktar and the heads of all the chief houses. In 
certain districts, notably Shala and Shoshi, an active radical party has sprung up 
lately called the Diclmnii (youth), which has elected its own head and refused to 
recognise the hereditary right in council of the Bariaktar. These new councils 
have passed some good modifications of tribe laws, and managed to enforce them. 

The law of the mountains is known as the Canon of Lek Dukaghin. He was 
one of a chieftain family that ruled all Pulati, Puka, Mirdita, Luria, and Ljuma in 
the middle ages, and down to the taking of Scutari in 1479 by the Turks. Lek 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 465 

(Alexander), whose identity cannot be determined — there were several of the name 
and a mass of conflicting tradition — is regarded by the tribesmen with extra- 
ordinary awe. He is said to have come from Eashia with the ancestors of Shala, 
Shoshi, and Mirdita, and the present ruling family of Mirdita, now represented by 
Prenk Bib Doda, claims to be of Dukaghin blood. The tribes that were ruled by 
the Dukaghins still call themselves Dukaghini. 

To Lek these tribesmen ascribe every law, almost every custom and habit 
that they have. That the bulk of the laws are, however, very much earlier than 
Lek's time is obvious. I am inclined to believe that the penalties chiefly are his. 

To the tribesmen, however, all the so-called laws of Lek are as divine decrees ; 
and especially does he believe that Lek ordered blood vengeance. Into the com- 
plicated rules of blood I have not space to enter. They dominate the whole life 
of the tribesman. Everything turns on ghaJc (blood). I have discussed it endlessly 
— for the family blood feud is the main topic of conversation — and collected a 
mass of cases. 

It is usual for writers who do not know him to denounce the tribesman as a 
vulgar murderer, who kills wantonly for the sake of killing. But in order to 
understand a custom one must see it through native eyes. After living some 
eight months among blood-hunters, I perceived what ghak meant to them. It is 
not so much a punishment which they inflict, as an act performed for self purifica- 
tion, and as such a solemn and necessary act. For there are certain offences that 
blacken, not merely the honour of the man against whom they have been com- 
mitted, but blacken also the honour oC his whole house and even of his tribe. 
Only blood can cleanse the stain. And the man whose honour is blackened is 
obsessed with the idea of his own impurity. It gives him no rest. Blood he 
must have. In all the outlying tribes in which the blood laws are quite 
unmodified, male blood of the offender's house, even of a quite distant cousin, 
suffices ; or if the affair be intertribal, blood of the offender's tribe. In such cases 
an absolutely innocent man who is ignorant of the cause of offence may be 
sacrificed ; and his blood cleanses the other's honour, who, triumphant, announces 
his deed. He is now in turn liable to be shot, and should he have slain a man of 
his own tribe, by tribe law his house will be burnt, his corn burnt, and in some 
districts his trees felled and his cattle slaughtered too. But all this is of but 
small moment. His honour is clean, and if he must die he dies happy. 

A man of the Christian tribe of Nikaj who was seeking blood was exhorted 
by the Franciscan to desist, and threatened with the torments of hell. " I would 
rather clean my honour and go to hell," he replied, and went out to slay. He 
slew, but was himself mortally wounded. The Franciscan hastened to the spot, 
and begged him to confess and repent while yet there was time. The dying man 
said, " I do not want your absolution or your heaven, for I have cleaned my 
honour." And he died. 

We may regret that " his honour rooted in dishonour stood " ; but there is 
a tragic grandeur about the man who is ready to sacrifice all he has, all that he 



466 M. Edith Dukham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

holds dear, and even life itself, in order that he may do that which he believes to 
be right. It is not every one that is prepared so to act up to his ideals. 

When you meet a tribesman and he drinks to you, Tu nghiat tjeter (long life 
to thee), remember to drink Tu nghiat me ncers (long honour to thee) in return ; 
for honour is better than life — in Albania. 



Appendix. 
Table of the Tribes of North Albania. 

Maltsia e Madlic Group. {Great Movntain Land.) 

I. Gruda. — A tribe of one hariak, situated between the Eiver Tsem and the 
Montenegrin frontier. North of it is the Kuchi tribe (Montenegro), and south 
the Hoti. Gruda consists of about 500 houses (a house is vaguely reckoned in 
Maltsia e niadhe as eight or ten persons). Of these eighty trace descent from 
Berisha (see below), and the remainder, who are called Gell (? -Djell), are immigrants 
from the Herzegovina. They state that the church of Gruda was built 380 years 
ago, shortly after their arrival. Gruda is now about half Moslem and half 
Catholic. The Berisha and Djell stocks are intermarriageable. 

II. ffoti. — A large tribe situate south of Gruda and extending to the shore of 
Scutari Lake. On the east it is divided from Kastrati by the Licheni Hotit, an 
arm of the lake. It consists of one hariak of about 500 houses. All are Catholic 
but three, those of the Bariaktar's family. This turned Moslem seven generations 
ago. All Hoti, except twelve houses, traces descent from Bosnia. These twelve 
are called Anas, and are of unknown origin. They were there when Hoti came. 

Shortly after the building of the church of Gruda, thirteen generations ago, 
Geg Laz, the ancestor of Hoti, arrived with his family. Geg was one of four 
brothers. The others were Piper, Vaso, and Krasni. From these descend the 
Piperi and the Vasojevichi of Montenegro, who are Serbophone and belong to the 
Orthodox Church. Krasni is ancestor of the Krasnichi, now Moslem and Albano- 
phone (see below). Hoti is consanguineous also with half the Triepshi tribe, which 
branched from it later, and reckons consanguinity also with part of Nikaj because 
it branched from Krasnich, which is consanguineous. Marriage is, therefore, pro- 
hibited with all these. Hoti intermarries with the Anas, but mainly marries with 
Kastrati. 

III. Kastrati. — Consisting also of about 500 houses, lies between the Licheni 
Hotit and the Skreli tribe. 300 houses trace descent from one Delti or Dedli, 
who came with his seven sons from the hariak of Drekalovich of the Kuchi. This 
in turn traces origin from Berisha (see below). The other 200 houses trace from 
people already on the spot when Delti arrived. They are said to have been Slavs. 
All are now Albanophone and the majority Catholic, the rest Moslems. 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 467 

IV. Skreli is situated in the valley of the Proni Thaat. It is mainly Catholic, 
and traces its origin from Bosnia. It is one hariak. 

V. Kilmeni. — A very widely-spread tribe of four hariaks — Seltze, Vukli, Boga, 
and Nikshi. These descend each from one of the four sons of Kilmeni, the 
ancestor of the tribe. He arrived in the land about thirteen generations ago. 
Nevertheless, these four bariaks are now considered sufficiently far removed to be 
intermarriageable, and marry freely. This is exceptional. Kilmeni came vaguely 
'' from the north." Seltze (300 houses, all Catholic) lies at the head of the valley 
of the Tsem Seltzit, one of the sources of the Tsem. The majority of the houses, 
Djenovich Seltze, descend from Kilmeni. The rest, Kabijenovich Seltze, are of 
other stock, some say from near Eijeka in Montenegro. 

Vukli lies at Tsem's other source, Tsem Vuklit. It is ninety-four families 
{number of persons to a family unknown), all Catholic. 

Boga lies at the source of the Proni Thaat. It is seventy-five families, almost 
all Catholic. 

Kikshi (154 houses, almost entirely Moslem) lies between Vukli and Boga. 

Kilmeni is migratory. It descends in large numbers to the plains near 
Alessio to pasture flocks in the winter, and returns to the mountains for summer. 
It has thrown out branches in several other districts (see below). 

VI. Zohe (or Lohja) . — A small tribe of one bariak, consisting of eighty Moslem 
<and forty Catholic houses. 

VII. Beclii, also small, and mostly Moslem. Eechi and Lohe are said to be 
of mixed origin from Shlaku and Pulati. Probably overflows of those districts. 

VIII. Rioli, small Christian tribe. I passed through quickly, and did not 
learn its origin. 

These three all lie between Skreli and Pulati, and the whole eight form the 
Maltsia e madhe group, and are included in the diocese of Scutari. 

It is noteworthy that there is a sprinkling of Slavonic names throughout 
Maltsia e madhe. 

On the shore of the Lake of Scutari, north of Scutari, is a small Moslem tribe, 
Kopliku, and between it and Lohe the small Moslem tribe Grizhi. Between 
Kopliku and Scutari is the orthodox Serbophone village of Vraka, the only 
Serbophone district in Albania. It is of mixed descent from refugees from Bosnia 
and Montenegro, who fled from blood. It reckons about 1,000 souls. 

Pulati Growp. 
Pulati is difficult to define, as its ecclesiastical limits (the diocese of Pulati) 
extend farther than the tribes actually called Pulati by the people. Lower Pulati, 
or Pulati proper, includes four tribes. 

I. Ghoanni. — A small Catholic tribe of one bariak. 

II. Plani. — A Catholic tribe of one bariak, tracing origin from three stocks 
which are intermarriageable. One descends from KUmeni {q.v.). 

III. Mgula. — Small Catholic tribe, one bariak. 



468 M. Edith Durham. — Hvjh Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

IV. Kiri. — Catholic tribe of one hariak. 

The other tribes included in the diocese of Pulati are : — 

V. Shala. — This is a very large and extensive tribe, occupying all the upper 
part of the valley of the Eiver Shala, and reaching to the summits of the mountains 
that form the watershed on either side. Shala consists of four hariahs, Thethi, 
Petsaj, Lothaj, and Lekaj. All descend from a common ancestor. Three brothers 
are reported to have fled from Eashia when it was overrun by the Turks (this 
would be at the end of the fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century). One 
had a saddle {Shala), the other a winnowing sieve {ShosJi), and the third nothing ; 
so he said Mir dit (good-day) and went off. This is the legendary origin of Shala, 
Shoshi, and Mirdita. They still reckon that they are too nearly related to be 
intermarriageable. The hariak Thethi occupies the head of the valley. It consists 
of 180 houses, all Catholic. (A house in all Pulati averages many more inmates than 
in Maltsia e madhe, as the custom of large communal families prevails. There may 
be as many as forty, or even more.) Thethi is self-governing, and is almost inde- 
pendent of the rest of Shala. Petsaj, Lothaj, and Lekaj are said to have separated 
into three main houses 376 years ago. They are now bariaks. Lothaj and Lekaj 
have quite recently decided that they are far enough removed to be intermarriage- 
able. Thethi and Petsaj will not intermarry within the tribe. Shala tells that, when 
it arrived in the land, there were already small dark people inhabiting it. With 
these they intermarried. Eight houses near Abate, lower Shala, trace origin from 
these earlier folk. The rest of them emigrated to Dechani. Shala is entirely Catholic. 

VI. Shoshi. — Origin as above. It lies south of Shala on the right bank of 
the Shala Eiver. 

VII. Toplana. — Is a small Catholic tribe of one hariak lying east of Shoshi. 
It is in a very wild district, and has the highest death-rate from gunshot wounds 
of all the Christian tribes. It tells that it is very old. 

The whole district occupied by the above tribes is called Maltsia e vogel, 
the Little Mountain Land. Also included in the diocese of Pulati is : 

VIII. Nikaj. — This is an offshoot from the Moslem tribe of Krasnich (brother 
to Hoti, q.v.). Its ancestor Nikol left Krasnich while Krasnich was yet Christian. 
(Catholic or Orthodox ?). One hundred houses of Nikaj, the Tsuraj, trace descent 
from a daughter of Mkol who bore an illegitimate son by a gypsy which Nikol 
adopted. This is the only case of female descent I heard of. Nikaj is all Catholic. 
It is one of the wildest and most poverty-stricken of the tribes. 

Piika Group. 

Puka is a very large tribe of seven bariaks : — 

Puka. — All Moslem. Cheriti. — Part Catholic, part Moslem. Chiri. — All 
Catholic. DushaJ (?) — All Catholic. Komani. — Catholic. Kahashi. — Moslem. 
And Beriska with Merturit-Gurit, all Christian. These two last are entirely 
Catholic. They tell no tale of immigration, but claim to be among the very oldest 
inhabitants. (See Gruda ante.) 



M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 469 

Postripa Groiqy. 

MazTcku. — A small Catholic tribe on the Drin, east of Scutari. 

Drishti. — All Moslem, small tribe. 

Shlahu. — Tribe of one bariak, on right bank of Drin, all Catholic. Traces 
origin from Toplana (q.v.). 

Dushmani. — A Catholic tribe of two bariahs : — Dushmani (160 houses) and 
Temali. It takes its name from one Paul Dushman, who was chieftain in the 
fifteenth century. 

Sunia. — A largely Catholic tribe on the right bank of the Kiri. All these are 
included in the Diocese of Pulati. 

Mirdita. 

The largest and most important tribe of all. It is wholly Catholic, and has an 
independent ecclesiastical head, the Abbot of Mirdita ; and an hereditary Prince 
of the whole tribe, Prenk Biba, called Prenk Pas. It consists of five bariahs. 

Of these three, Oroshi, Spachi, and Kushneni, trace origin from the original 
ancestor who fled from Piashia. (See Shala, ante.) They are therefore consan- 
guineous and not intermarriageable. Xor do they marry Shala or Shoshi. They 
marry chiefly Kthela and Luria. 

The fourth bariak, Fandi, belonged to the Ljuma group, but left it whenLjuma 
turned Moslem and joined Mirdita. The fifth bariak Dibri (not to be confounded 
with the Moslem Debra of the Ljum group) is also of another stock. These two 
iariaks are therefore marriageable with the first three. 

Mirdita in all reckons 3,000 houses, with an average of ten souls to 
a, house. The three first bariaks state that the Pestriku mountains were their 
original home. 

Kthela. 

With Mirdita in war marches Kthela. Mirdita and Kthela have the right to 
lead in all wars with the south. Hoti leads in all wars with the north. Kthela 
is a large tribe of three bariaks : — Kthela, all Catholic : Selati and Pelati, both 
mixed. Mohammedanism is spreading. 

Moslem, Tribes. 
The wholly Moslem tribes nearly all lie to the east of the large Christian 
tribes, and occupy the lower lying and more fertile lands where the mountains 
sweep down towards the plains. They are reluctant to admit strangers to their 
territories, and very suspicious of qviestions. 

Debra G-roup. 
I. Luria. — Is the liead tribe of this group, one bariak, 200 houses. 
In twenty there are still some Christians. No house is entirely Christian, and 
Islam is making quick progress. When Christian (recently) it intermarried 
•considerably with Mirdita. Now marries the two other tribes of the group, Matija 
and Debra. 



470 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 

II. Matija. — Wholly Moslem ; I did not visit it. It is said to consist of 1,200 
houses, and covers much land. 

III. Dcbra. — All Moslem. I did not visit it. These three tribes are among 
the most independent of all. 

It is noteworthy that Luria in the middle ages formed part of the Dukaghin 
principality, while Matija and Debra, it would appear, owned allegiance to 
Skenderbeg. 

IV. Arnji. — A small independent Moslem tribe on the left bank of the EiA'er 
Mola. It is an offshoot from Berisha. Women wear Mirdita dress. 

Prizren Group. 
I. Ljuma. — A large and very independent Moslem tribe. 

Along with it are grouped, Bruti, Mai i zi, Eechi, Vlas, and other small 
districts. They are all offshoots, so far as I could learn, of various Clnistian tribes, 
e.g., Shala, Fandi, etc. 

Djakova Group. 

I. lashi. — 800 houses, all Moslem. Did not visit it. 

II. Tropopoja. — 300 houses, all Moslem. 

III. Hashi. — Very large tribe vaguely reckoned at from 600 to 1,000 houses. 
Almost all Moslem. Occupies the Pestriku mountains which are the traditional 
home of the Mirdites {q.v.). Are not consanguineous with Mirdita. 

Djakova and its immediate neighbourhood is almost entirely populated by 
offshoots from Berisha, Shala, Fandi, and Mirdita. These all recognise consanguinity 
with their mother tribe and do not intermarry with it. 

Ipeh Group. 

This consists of Ipek, Gusinje, and Plava. 

I jjjck. — Albanian population from a number of stocks. In neighbourhood 
a number of Serb Orthodox villages. Also Albanian villages, some hailing from 
Shala and Berisha. At Dechani, the dark stock from Shala {q.v.). 

II. Gusinje. — All Moslem except a small Serb Orthodox population. Gusinje 
has never been Catholic. Much of the Moslem population can speak Serb. Stock 
very mixed. 

III. Plava. — I did not visit. Said to be of mixed stock, some from Hoti {q.v.), 
some from a very old stock called Pagani. 



Note on the Tribes Consanguineous with Hoti. 

I. Krasnich. — I could not visit this tribe, as it was badly at blood with all its 
neighbours, and objects also to all foreigners. It has a powerful chieftain, Shaban 
Benaku, who traces direct descent from Krasni the brother of Geg Laz, ancestor of 
Hoti. It is noteworthy that Krasan is Serb for " beautiful," Krasriik, " a handsome 
man," for the tribe stems from Bosnia Also, that though now all Moslem Krasnich 



M. Edith Durham.— JTt^A Albania and its Customs in 1908. 471 

men will go to the Serl) Monastery Church of Dechani for holy bread, so do the 
Catholics of Nikaj who are consanguineous with Krasnich. A Scutari ujan, who 
managed once to penetrate Krasnich in disguise, told me the plot of a long ballad 
he heard sung there which struck him much. It is precisely the same as one 
published in Serb among the collected ballads of Bosnia. 

II. Pipcri. — In Montenegro, all Orthodox and Serbophone ; did not throw 
in its lot with Montenegro till 1790. 

III. Vasojevich. — Is since the Treaty of Berlin half Montenegrin and half 
under Turkey. Is all Orthodox and Serbophone. It is noteworthy that in the 
Montenegrin part many Albanian proper names occur with Serb terminations, 
e.g., Dedich and Dedovich. Ded = Domenic in Albania. 

Other Montenegrin tribes consanguineous with Albanian ones : — 
Bijelo Pavlich. — One of the largest Montenegrin tribes, also joined Montenegro 
in 1790. It traces origin from Bijelo Pavlo (White Paul), one of the Dukaghins of 
Mirdita, known in Mirdita as Pal i hardh. The tribe is all Orthodox and Serbo- 
phone. 

Kuchi. — Kuchi has been included in Montenegro since 1877. It fought 
on the Montenegrin side in the last war. One of its hariaka, Drekalovich, 
traces direct descent from Berisha in Albania. It is now, I believe, all Serbo- 
phone. 



Example of a Pedigree from Hoti, High Albania. 

Geg Laz (ancestor of the tribe). 

I 
! 

Djan Gega. Djun Gega. Laj Gega (head of Pietro Ge (head of 

I Eapsha stock). Treboina stock). 

Chek Djunka. 

Pep Cheka. 

Vuksan Pepa. 

I 
Brul Vuksani. 

Marash Brula. 

i 
Lek Marashi. 

I 
Djok Leka. 

I. 
Hutz Djoka. 

Marash Hutzi (set. sixty-five, gave rue the pedigree). 

Zef Marashi. 

I 
Mark Zefi. 

I 
Pasko Marka. 



472 M. Edith Durham. — High Albania and its Customs in 1908. 



Description of Illustration on p. 455. 

Fig. 1. — " Sun and moon " chair, Shela. 
„ 2. — Variant design of arm end. 
„ 3. — Cross-terminating in " suns," Thethi. 

„ 4. — Series of common wooden crosses showing all stages of pattern, 
jj 5. — Wooden headpost and head and footposts of Moslem graves (Hashi and Puka). 



Description of Plate XXXI. 

Fig. 1. — Nos. 1-7. Tattoos common among the Christians of the tribes of Maltsia e 
madhe, N. Albania. 
„ 8-11. Common tattoos (Roman Catholic), Bugojuo, Bosnia. 
„ 12-17. More elaborate examples from Jaju, Bosnia. 
„ 18-23. Bosnian tattoos collected by Dr. Truhieka — 
No. 18. The ear of corn. 
„ 19. " Ograda," the palisade. 
„ 20. " Kolo," the circle. 
„ 21. The moon. 
Nos. 22, 23. The cross. 
„ 2. — Gravestones in Roman Catholic graveyard, Dushmani, N. Albania (showing 
variants of cross, crescent, and sun — all recent). 



[^Repri7ifed from the Journal of the Royal Jnthropological Institute, Vol. XL, July-December, 1910.] 



Sarrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Sis Majesty, St. Martin's Lane, London. 



Journal of the Soyal Anthropological Institute, Vol. XL, 1910, Plate XXXI. 







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and with foreign scientific societies in anthropological investigations ; 

co-operation with individuals and institutions in aid of explorations 

and in the establishment of local centres of anthropological study; 

and, generally, the stimulation of individual and local efforts to further 

the objects of the Institute. 
The annual subscription is Two Guineas, which is due on election (unless 
such election takes place in the month of November or December) and on the Ist 
of January in each succeeding year. A Member may at any time compound his 
future subscriptions by the payment of £31 10s. 



Persons who wish to become Fellows of the 
Institute are requested to communicate with the 
Secretary, 50, Great Russell Street, W.C. 



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